Buba Marwa, former military governor of Lagos, says the social investment programme (SIP) of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has won the hearts of many despite allegations that it is vote-buying.
Marwa said this on Tuesday while speaking at the National Policy and Development (N-POD) Summit in Abuja.
The summit was organised by the office of the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF).
TraderMoni, a component of SIP, is a collateral-free loan for petty traders and artisans.
The former military governor said recipients of TraderMoni and conditional cash transfer have continued to wonder if there has been government in Nigeria before Buhari came into office.
He said the crowd that welcomed the president wherever he went in 2015 are still the same crowd that “are welcoming him today.”
“Some people have been insinuating that Mr. President has failed and would be rejected at the polls. They are now wondering why Mr. President continued to pull crowd wherever he goes,” Marwa said.
“They should be told that same crowd that welcomed Mr. President wherever he went in 2015 are still the same crowd that are welcoming him today. Only that Mr. President’s Social Investment Programmes has won many more hearts.
“They can continue to shout vote buying while Mr. President’s governance model continues to win goodwill for him wherever he goes.”
According to him, the current administration is capable of taking the country to the path of fulfilling its destiny.
“Though Mr. President’s performance in office has been mired in controversy and narrow view of government and governance, my understanding of governance confirms to me that the governance model of this government is capable of placing Nigeria on the path of fulfilling its manifest destiny if we are patience enough,” he said.
“I dare to ask, what governance model would combine security of lives and properties which is the cardinal role of the state with anti-corruption that tend to ensure that looting of public funds is no longer possible will fail to catalyse prosperity for all if there is a will to act positively for the interest of all? None.
“My elementary understanding of governance taught me that once a government is able to generate revenue to provide physical and social security for the people while keeping at bay vested interests whose pastime is always to target funds for public good for their own private use, such a nation is on its way to greatness.
“The change agenda of the president, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of this administration, the Ease of Doing Business, the executive orders (6 and 7) and the Next Level Document are embodied this governance strategy. Hence the reason for the optimism.”